- Associated Press - Friday, October 31, 2014

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A South Dakota woman and her common-law husband have pleaded guilty to federal charges for their roles in the July 2013 death of a Lame Deer woman.

Eugenia Ann Rowland, 42, of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder in the death of Hanna Harris, 21, The Billings Gazette (https://bit.ly/1sSkXHN) reported. Garrett Sidney Wadda, 35, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters scheduled sentencing for both on Feb. 12.

Rowland told Watters that she, Wadda and Harris had been drinking on July 3 and 4 of 2013, there was a fight and that she and Wadda beat Harris.

Wadda said he knew Rowland had killed Harris and that he moved her body to keep Rowland from going to jail.

The cause of Harris’ death couldn’t be determined because her body was badly decomposed when it was found four days after she died, but positional asphyxia could not be ruled out, prosecutors said.

Wadda and Rowland were arrested in March 2014.

In court records filed earlier this week, prosecutors said Rowland told a former sister-in-law in January that she had blacked out from drinking that night and was awakened by Harris screaming that Wadda was raping her. Rowland said she tried to help Harris, but that Harris hit her, which made her angry and then both she and Wadda beat Harris. Rowland told her sister-in-law that they wrapped Harris’ body in a sheet and dragged it outside. Wadda said he moved it the next day.

The offer of proof mentioned nothing about the alleged rape.

Wadda had also been charged with murder and aggravated sexual abuse, but those charges were dismissed as part of the plea agreement in which Wadda agreed to testify against Rowland.

Harris’ son was 10 months old when she died.


Information from: The Billings Gazette, https://www.billingsgazette.com

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